I know last week was Good Friday, but this Friday felt even better.

(This story: brought to you by the events of yesterday. Sorry for the delay.)

 

Today I wanted a tomato sandwich. BAD.

If you live in the South or have spent enough time here to be cultured into the knowledge of our ways here, you’ve probably heard of this delicious spring/summer treat. It’s really simple for me–just a slice of bread with a thin layer of mayo on top, another slice of bread with two half-inch slices of tomato on top, and then BOOM. Slap ’em together and ya got ya a sandwich!
I don’t even really like tomatoes, but every year about this time, I’ve just really GOTTA HAVE A TOMATO SANDWICH.

Last week, I bought two tomatoes because I thought I’d slice them up for this very purpose. When I brought my groceries in that night, my neighbors’ cat (who thinks he’s mine) tore apart one of the bags! Guess what was in it.
The tomatoes.

Guess what got demolished!
The tomatoes.

i don't always

 

IT'S BECAUSE HE DESTROYED MY TOMATOES!

IT’S BECAUSE HE DESTROYED MY TOMATOES.



So anyway, I got over it.

Until today.

I had just enough time during my lunch break to stop by the store on my way back to work to get tomato sandwich supplies. When I realized that, there was no turning back.

When I got back to work with my bag of stuff and began putting it all together, I realized there were no plastic cutting utensils left in the kitchen to slice my tomato. I looked through the real food utensils in another drawer and still found no knives.
Time was running out. So I grabbed a spoon and started sawing away.

It didn’t work.

So I looked both ways and literally started tearing the tomato apart with my bare hands. It was surprisingly easy! And now I have a more accurate knowledge of what a tomato really looks like on the inside. I got plenty of awkward, but fresh, tomato chunks and was able to have the delicious sandwich I had been craving. I must say, I don’t tear apart anything with my bare hands for nothing. That sandwich was GOOD.

And then I had a whole loaf of bread that didn’t even need.

Or so I thought.

I started writing this ridiculous post when I was dining in at a cozy little restaurant on my way home from work this afternoon, but after I ate and got up to leave, I put this aside to finish when I got home. As soon as I left the parking lot, I was stopped at a red light where I saw a dirty-looking, gray-haired man quickly walk through the traffic to the van in front of me. It startled me because I didn’t know what he was doing and was afraid he might be about to attack someone in the van. After all, you never know what to expect from people hanging out on the streets.

I saw him receive something from one of the passengers, go back to the side of the road where he had been standing, and with an embarrassed kind of look on his face, he held up a small scrap of cardboard that said:

“Homeless
Will work for food”

I usually ignore people who stand on the side of the road if I can’t tell whether they’re being honest because pulling over or rolling down a window is just not good common sense for a young woman by herself, but something was different about this situation. I wasn’t close enough to get his attention, and when the light turned green, traffic was moving too quickly for me to do anything in passing by. But as I turned toward home, I knew I would regret it the whole hour-long drive if I didn’t, so I turned around and went back.

I drove through the parking lot behind him, which faced another long line of cars at the same intersection where I had been stopped, and I slightly rolled down my window as I swerved around for him to come to my side of the car. He looked back at me when he heard me coming to a stop, and I waved at him. My heart was pounding because…let’s be real…I was in the middle of Columbus, Georgia, which I learned today has made the top 10 list of cities with the highest crime rates.

The guy walked over to my car.
“I have a bag of bread if you need it,” I told him.

I’m not sure if he thought I was a 12-year-old for a second or a business manager telling him to go somewhere else, but he finally shook his head and said, “Yes.”
As I stuffed the bread through the window, I noticed the pack of noodles in his hand that the people in front of me had given to him at the light.

“Thank you. God bless you,” he said. And he started walking back to his spot.

He was really in need.

I don’t normally talk about whatever things I do for other people because I don’t want to send anyone the impression that I’m self-righteous anything along those lines, but this completely random opportunity I had today really poked me in the heart. How many times have I backed out of things because I viewed the uncertain and unknown as dangerous or scary what ifs, rather than taking a chance because on the meaningful and impactful possibilities?

That’s not to say that I should *always* pull over for people with holding cardboard signs, but I could at least be more attentive and willing to help people (in any situation) when I see that I can.

I really hope that man finds a job. And I really hope that out of all the people at that red light who saw my car come out of nowhere and chuck out a loaf of bread, someone saw his sincerity too and realized something they could give him and found the guts to do it.

So if I didn’t learn anything new today, a least I was reminded that:
1. Tomato sandwiches are good.

and 2… God is, too.

God bless us all with opportunities to give as we have been given.

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Ingeleif

After almost a year of working on this, I finally finished my latest piano composition! Interestingly, as I plugged my way through this whole process, I became inspired to work on yet another…much larger…project. At some point, I will post an update on that project and refer back to this song, and maybe explain the title, but for now, it will just have to remain a mystery to everyone. ;)

http://youtu.be/4QBH7APN1UE

What’s crackin’, homeblog?

It’s been so long since I’ve written here that when I was going to write a new post a couple of months ago, I saw my previous post and totally thought someone had hijacked my blog. Not kidding. I didn’t even remember the article that I had reblogged, and when I was reading it again, I was like… Whoa! THIS IS GOOD! 

And then I was like, Oh, yeah…
That’s why I reblogged it.

 

So yeah. It’s been awhile! A lot of things have been going on in my life since I last wrote here, and really, a lot has happened since I even started this blog in the first place. Because of a variety of things on my mind and things I’ve experienced over the past few months, I feel like this is an opportune time to look back for a sec and recap some general facts, kind of as a “note from the author” sort of thing and kind of just as a background for anyone who is less familiar with this particular blog (because I have several blogs, and they are all from and for different purposes).

 

In the beginning…

I created this blog as a stress reliever.

I named it “Rhapsody of Thought,” because I felt like it was the perfect fit for its personality. I still have the original content in the “About” page of this blog, if you are interested to know what my intent was (and kind of still is) for this blog. :)

 

Now…

My situation has changed since July of 2012. I am no longer fresh out of college searching for jobs. However, I have some trying situations in my life to work through that have replaced my previous challenges. Sometimes it even feels worse than that job-searching-fresh-out-of-college stretch felt. As wonderful as it is to have a full-time job now, especially one that I enjoy so much, the biggest disadvantage is that I have way less “free time”–time for doing, not only things I enjoy, but things that I actually need to do…like eat supper. Right now, I have approximately one hour until I need to go to bed. And here I am… eating sugar cookies and writing in this silly ol’ blog.

Depending on which blog I’m working in, the topic I’m writing about, etc., it can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an entire three or four hours–sometimes two or three days of that many hours at a time–for me to create an article. Wow! That’s a lot of time, not mention work.

This is about one week of “free time” work:

20140409-134737.jpg

And this is just one of several things I enjoy doing. There are plenty of other writing projects and things that don’t involve writing at all, that I also spend time with. If the reason I did this was to make other people happy, I’d be a miserable soul.
But I don’t.

 

So if you’re reading this blog, here are three things you should know:

1. I write here for fun…for people who read for fun.
I don’t mind expressing my beliefs and opinions with anyone, and I enjoy and encourage others to do the same. Along that same vein, I find that the most effective communication happens when all parties involved handle differences and dislikes with respect for each other. When such is the situation, I enjoy discussions of all sorts.

2. My writing is typically assertive with the topic at hand. If it wasn’t, it would be weak, watered down, or sugar-coated, and that’s just poor writing. Writing is where I get real.

3. I have a sense of humor. It’s not better than anyone else’s, and it’s not for everyone, but it’s something a lot of people might not be aware of about me. I’m generally a nice, easy-going kind of person, but I’m not a piece of cotton candy. Sometimes I’m a sarcastic little smarty pants. ;)

Have you ever seen Spongebob Squarepants?

It’s probably the most annoying show I’ve seen since it came out when I was in about fifth grade. But you know what I have actually always liked about it?

20140409-171003.jpg

Squid to the ward.

Squidward is the only character who makes any of the other characters funny to me, and when I say “any of the other characters,” I really just mean Patrick. It’s like every demotivational quote I’ve ever heard and poster I’ve seen lives through Squidward. Yes, he is super weird, as is everyone else, but I couldn’t have watched that show without him.

Stupidity + pessimistic comic relief = much laughing for Hannah

 

Okay. Moving along now.

Starting soon, I’m hoping to post more frequently in this blog. I’m in the middle of dealing with some big personal things in my life and might not even be present much on any of the social media outlets I use for a while, but this blog will be my primary source for sharing the stuff that floats my boat. It will basically be the same kind of blog it has always been, but maybe with more about me personally so my friends can keep up with what is generally going on in my life.

So there you have it! My blog and me in a nutshell. :)

It’s Okay to Be Afraid – Accept the Challenge Anyway!

Live to Write - Write to Live

I’m amazed at how many times I hear people not only say they are afraid to try new things, but they actually avoid trying new things. I knew someone who wouldn’t eat any food he’d never eaten before.

We’re all born with a blank slate. Every thing has a first time (including what we like to eat). Why weren’t we afraid from the very start? Because we didn’t know any better.

When was the last time you did something for the first time?

Each writer has different strengths and interests and we come about them in various ways. We had to learn how to:

  • write
  • spell
  • read
  • craft sentences/paragraphs/stories
  • come up with ideas
  • outline
  • research
  • use a card catalog (dewey decimal) at the library
  • do online Internet searches
  • understand grammar
  • learn writing rules
  • and so on

We didn’t one day wake up as writers or have a writing business. Everything…

View original post 346 more words

The press be like, “Don’t go to Florida!” And I be like, “I ain’t even scared! I’m a survivor!”

There’s been a big public commotion lately about a flesh-eating bacteria spreading across Florida beaches. Interestingly, it also happens to be National Eczema Awareness month, which turns out to be a really good time to educate the public about…yep, you guessed it–eczema.

There are plenty of people who could be in Florida’s salty waters right now and be just as at-risk for getting such a deadly infection as they are at any other given time and place. The girl featured in this blog article would be one of those people:

running for a cure

Also, I am one of those people.

I have eczema, sometimes very badly, especially during the summer months. I know what it’s like to wake up in the middle of the night from a never-ending stinging, itching, and burning sensation that sometimes covers large areas of skin, like on the backs of my legs from mid-calf to mid-thigh. Some summers, I’ve had such a hard time keeping the eczema under control, even with the strongest medicines, that I’ve essentially had chronic hives on my legs. At 20 years old, I sat in the middle of my bedroom floor one time in the middle of the night, rocking myself back and forth and crying angry and helpless tears because I had done everything I could think of to ease the pain so I could sleep, but no matter what I did, it felt like there was literally a piece of hell fire behind my knees that would not go away.

I don’t intend to draw pity for myself. I would just like for people to understand that eczema is not always a little dry spot here or a few bumps there. There are people who deal with this condition on a much more severe and difficult level to treat and are much more vulnerable to other very bad and much worse things, like deadly bacterias. In fact, about at least once every year, I encounter the fear that I have gotten a flesh-eating bacteria…

again.

When I was five years old, I contracted Strep B (definitely NOT the same as strep throat) in my leg from pretty much just playing in my backyard in Chelsea, Alabama. Many people carry this bacteria in their bodies and are unaware of it, and women are tested for it during pregnancy because it is most commonly known as the biggest cause for newborn septicemia and meningitis.

Several people–older people, those with serious diseases and compromised immune systems like mine–died from it the year that I got it. I was lucky my mom caught it so soon and I didn’t need to have any amputations, as it spreads very quickly and can kill a person within hours.

It is extremely rare for people to contract Strep B the way that I did and the way the people who died from it that year did. However, those who are greatest at risk of Strep B infection, aside from newborn children of infected mothers, women after childbirth, and females after gynecologic surgery, are older male and female patients with other serious diseases. Though, I was very young, my severe eczema was the gateway for this life-threatening experience.

Ways to prevent any kind of infection from occurring or worsening:
Practice good hygiene: Clean up well with soap and water regularly each day after handling germy things.
Appreciate the good germs: All bacteria is not bad. Medical professionals will advise to use soap and water as a first resort; use germ ex and the like only if soap and water is not available.
Have a good general body awareness: Trust your gut. All you need is a phone, not necessarily a trip to the doctor every time you have a medical concern. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

So what happens if you do contract a deadly infection? Well, I would hope that you could catch it in time and take yourself immediately to the hospital, and maybe call as your on your way to let them know your symptoms (for example, a really strange-looking reddish area on your skin that is quickly growing darker in color). This will let them know what they’ve got on their hands, and they will probably have you go straight to a room where you will immediately be hooked up to a bag of super duper antibiotics. You will probably be there for several days and have that stick in your wrist or arm dripping antibiotic fluid into your veins the entire time.

What do you do while you are in the hospital fighting a flesh-eating bacteria? Eat as many orange push-pops as you want, color in your Mickey Mouse coloring book, get a stuffed kitty named Buttons from the gift shop, watch TV, walk around with your bag of antibiotic fluid everywhere you go, and read all the cards that come in for you each day. At least…that’s what I did. And now that I’m 22 years old, I think I’d do exactly those same things all over again. :)

Shout out to Children’s Hospital of Birmingham, Alabama!

If only you knew, you’d probably never feel safe asking about it again.

You’re talking with a old friend you haven’t seen in awhile, and you’re bubbling with excitement over all the new updates you’re giving each other about your lives! And then you start to feel it coming. Yeah, you know what it is. You also know that it’s really more appropriate for you to be the one to bring it up and be the informer (and that’s if you want to), but you realize that people just don’t really think or care about the possibility that you’ve just had your heart dashed into a bajillion pieces by some stupidhead, and so it happens…

“Soooooooo… are you seeing anyone?” :)

“Are you dating anyone?” :)

“Got a boyfriend?” :)

“Someone you been eyeing these days?” ;)

 

Soooooooo… no.

No.

Nope.

And… there’s this really cute cashier at Publix, so I prefer to get my groceries on Tuesdays… No, not really. I mean…kinda. But not really.

 

And sometimes that’s just the beginning of it. Sometimes they have “the perfect person for you!” Oh goody! How much uglier will this one be than the last? Believe me, I’ve met a lot of shallow people, and I don’t consider myself one of them, but looks DO matter. If it ain’t happenin’, it ain’t happenin’. Forcing things just makes everything SO. MUCH. WORSE.

Maybe your friend feels sorry for someone they know, and so they essentially want to use you to make the other person feel better by persuading you to “give them a chance” because “they’re so funny!”… as if your feelings about being set up on a blind date with someone who–I don’t know…turns out to literally be a blind date and paralyzed from the waist down–aren’t nearly as important?

Love life snooping and matchmaking–similar to asking (or telling) couples when they’re going to start having children–can be insulting, but most of the time they are done in ignorance anyway. Some people don’t want to date, have a significant other, get married anytime soon…or ever! Some people just don’t make as big of a deal about it. Some people just want everyone else to mind their business. And some people are just tired of taking completely unpromising chances.

If you must have something to say about your friend’s dating life or must involve yourself as a matchmaker, remember that sometimes people are single for some pretty good, understandable reasons. I’m sure it’s cool to say you introduced someone to the one person it worked out with for them, but it’s also nice to not be the source of your friend’s 138’th heartbreak.

Sometimes I feel like somewhere along the way I got kind of shafted. Other times I think my experiences are mostly just like everyone else’s. I tried to come up with a way to explain things to the people who have no idea what guys are left in the arena these days–because, you know, they’ve been gone from it for awhile–so I made an illustrated list of what I have to sift through on a regular basis.  As exaggerated as some of it may seem, it’s actually a pretty condensed list of real experiences that have happened to me and my fellow “still single” ladies. So, in case you’re wondering why some of us are “still single” and pretty down with that, despite our society’s obsession with romance, here’s why:

 

1. Almost every single guy who’s close enough to my age for me to even consider dating…

boy nice guy

2. But those young whippersnappers sure know how to pick up the slack!

So I guess if nothing else works out, I can just be a cougar.

boy too young

3. Guys who don’t deserve an ounce of respect, so they won’t be getting any–any of anything, especially this…

boy mr entitled

4. The”good boy” version of #3…

boy mr entitled religious man style

5. When you’re 22 and all the good guys are like, “Yeah, so you’re really awesome!”

And you’re like, “Really?”

And they’re like, “Yeah! Who is your friend?!”

[talks to friend, dates friend, marries friend]

It’s not a total life disaster, or even much of a disappointment, to find out that a good guy isn’t romantically interested in you if you don’t really have that whole lightning bolt attraction you’d prefer to have going on for him anyway. But then you realize who’s left…

boy holy man

6. And that one time you were crushing on you best friend just like everyone does in the movies, and then you realized that it should have been going somewhere, but it wasn’t…

boy likes boys

7. And then, of course, the casual outings. You know, just watching a movie or finding a place to sit at a sporting event…

boy likes little boys

8. Occasionally, someone shows interest in you, and you’re like, “whaaaa?”

And then you get used to it and start to like it… and then BOOM!!

boy liar

9. But here’s the more typical version of #8–the version that used to happen to me before I apparently became atypical–and maybe the worst of all the kinds, despite how common it is…

boy listening friendzoner

I think it’s safe to say my expectations and standards are not “too high” or “unrealistic” when I express that I’d like something better.

To be honest, if that’s all that’s left in the pot, then game over. No more picking around for me because it’s all going in the trash can. I’d rather waste my time on things that at least have some potential.

girl with heart

girl with heart 2

girl with heart 3

girl with heart 4

The Social Faux Pas You Probably Never Thought About

It may come across as a surprise to most of you that one of the best feelings I ever had was when I walked into Momma Goldberg’s recently and the guy at the register asked me if I wanted a cold beer. Was it because I wanted a cold beer? No, because I don’t drink. Was it because he was cute? No, but he was kind of cute. Why was that such a good feeling? Because he recognized that I was at least 21, which happened to be exactly how old I was at the time. Points for that guy!

Sometimes people make statements or ask questions that are somehow meant to be friendly conversation makers or be remotely funny in some way, but they aren’t. And I think if people actually thought about what they were saying, a lot of things wouldn’t be said to me.

When you see someone who is overweight, do you tell them just how fat you think they are? Just so you all know, Microsoft Word does not even recognize the word “fat” as an acceptable word option for the way I just used it in the previous sentence. Do you go around asking people where they go and shop for their clothes because you can’t imagine where they could find clothes that massive? Do you tell them they need to buy a treadmill? Do you tell them they wouldn’t be able to have healthy children because of their size? Do you tell them they eat like a mammoth? Do you do all of this without even bothering to find out who they are in the first place? Do you even know whether they have brought this upon themselves or if they have an actual medical condition, take a medicine, or deal with life stresses that create their situation?

So if you said yes to that, do you also walk through the hall at a hospital where chemo patients are getting their treatments and point and yell at them, “Baldies, baldies!”?

Do you also openly tell people if you think they’re butt ugly and will never get married?

I hope not. But if you do any of those things, it doesn’t matter if you say you’re “kidding” or not…you’re a jerk for saying such things.

Many times, when I express my distaste for people’s inconsiderate remarks, people misunderstand my hurt feelings as sensitivity to being who/how I am. Not so at all. I don’t know any differently, so I’m perfectly fine with who I am and how tall I am. It gets on my nerves that it seems to be such a big deal to everyone else. My stature would absolutely NOT be an issue at all if other people didn’t make it a big deal…because it is not a big deal to me. So my frustration is not with myself. It’s that I have no idea how to handle such blatantly disrespectful comments from people I don’t even know at completely random times. It’s basically the same thing as this:

Sometimes friends will say, “Well, they’re just not thinking about what they’re saying.” Yeah, I know that. That’s what the problem is. They’re supposed to…they’re adults, for crying out loud!

So, Rule Number 1: Consider your words before you speak them. And, don’t preface what you think might be funny with, “No offense, but…”

If you think it could be offensive, you won’t say it. Lying about it just makes you twice the jerk.

Rule Number 2: If you’re going to ask a question, expect to get the real answer.

“Like a maniac who shoots fiery darts and deadly arrows—that’s what someone is like who lies to his neighbor and then says, ‘I was only joking, wasn’t I?’” Proverbs 26:18-19

Here are a few things I’ve been told in the past few years in connection with my small stature:

“And now you’re in sixth grade, so that’s four years, right?” (I was a college freshman at the time, calculating how many years I had played piano to someone who had overheard me playing, someone I didn’t even know)

“What grade are you in? You look like a kid!”

“What does Auburn University offer to little girls?”

“You’re so small, you don’t need but half an office space.”

The Reality…just a few little fun facts about me:

I am 22 years old.

I have played the piano for as long as eighth graders have been alive.

In case you’ve ever asked, yes…I hit puberty. A WHOLE DECADE ago. If I got raped, I could actually have a real baby. I am capable of bringing a human being into this world with my body (the body that belongs to me that apparently looks like a kid). R-e-s-p-e-c-t.

I have a Bachelor’s degree.

I graduated from Auburn (University) a year ago.

While I was in college, I walked almost everywhere I went, even if I didn’t have to, while carrying around a backpack that was often about half my own body weight. Can you do that?

I also walked as quickly as everyone else, which meant I walked twice or triply as much as everyone else.

I did well in college. A lot of people don’t, and most of the ones I knew who didn’t were older than me.

I searched for and found my purpose while in college. A lot of people don’t do that…ever.

Mentally and emotionally, I grew up while in college. A lot of people don’t do that either.

Through it all, I was a mistake maker, and still am. That’s one aspect of life no one is exempt from.

I live on my own now.

I’m old enough to get a hotel room.

I think about things like buying a house within the next few years, or saving for retirement.

I work 8-5 at a real job.

For my real job, I wear clothes that I pick out all by myself every morning—clothes that I bought when shopping all by myself in the petite section at a nice department store, usually in a mall. Obviously, I didn’t get lost, and if I did, well…looking like a minor isn’t enough to make me one.

If I went missing, it would take a full 24 hours for me to officially become a “missing person,” and even then, finding me would not be priority to finding someone five+ years younger than me… even if a perpetrator had thought I was a child and attempted to do the same things to me as he would have done to a younger person.

If I ever had to go to court for wrongdoing, I would be tried as an adult, no exception. Looks mean nothing in the courts, folks.

I pay for all but about two bills with the money that I make (money that is made by me), and I will soon be paying for those other two as well. That money (that I make) goes into a checking account that is in my name, and I can transfer that money into a savings account that is also in my name. I can also write checks! Yipee! I can swipe a debit card and credit card that have my name on them as well.

I drive. I drive myself to work every day. I probably drive more responsibly than many people my age. I can even drive halfway across the country by myself if I want to (and I am going to soon).

I know how to check the oil in my car and add more to it if I need to. I can also change the headlights in my car (and probably more easily than anyone else since my hands are so small)…yeah, be jealous.

I am old enough to have a boyfriend who is in his 30s.

Sometimes men in their 30s are more attracted to me than guys my own age because they, like me, have matured enough to create standards for themselves higher than getting wasted and getting some.

About half of my friends are married now…and have kids.

I cook, clean, do laundry, and own and care for a pet all by myself.

I can do a variety of home repairs on my own. Do you know how to change a door knob or put a door back on its hinges? I do! My next handywoman project is to create an outdoor wheelchair ramp for a friend so she can come into my house (the house that I live in by myself).

I’m scared of bees and wasps and other various creatures that can sting or bite, but I stay pretty sane otherwise. The other day, I wanted Mayfield’s Brown Cow ice cream really bad, so I went to Publix and got it because I could. And then I had it for supper because I could. I still squeal sometimes when I’m excited about things. Even after all these years, nothing gets me going like some good old slapstick comedy. I love animated kids’ films. And I still think it would be cool to be a mermaid. Or a dolphin.

Though I am in so many ways still a kid at heart, I am a woman—a 22-year-old woman—and I have to deal with woman things. I carry adult responsibilities, have adult problems, and make adult choices. And I appreciate when people recognize and encourage me during this time of my life—a time when I have to make hard decisions, face scary things on my own, and deal with the consequences that arise from all of it.

The last thing I need is for someone to belittle or completely disregard all of these facts about me simply because of my appearance. If you must say something about my appearance, I’d rather you simply say, “Wow, you’re pretty short,” and leave it at that, even though I’ve heard that a million and five times… and kind of figured it out myself before anyone ever said it the first time.

When I’m wearing my grown up clothes, grown up shoes, carrying my grown up purse that contains grown up things in it, it’s enough of an insult for someone to tell me I look like a sixth grader to them, even when I’ve just told them I’m an adult. But for them to continue talking to me in that way, as if I actually am a sixth grader…that’s pretty condescending. Have a little respect, people. Quit being jerks.

So…you’re looking for a roommate.

Some of you may be reaching that point in your life where you are about to head off to college! Or maybe you’re just a single girl or guy who needs a cut in your expenses. So… you’re looking for a roommate.

There are lot of things to learn from having roommates. A lot of things can happen while living with someone else. To name a few:

You can luck up and turn into best friends with your roomie!

You can think you lucked up and turned into best friends with your roomie, only to find out later that you are WRONG. They actually hate you.

You can have a social life because of your roommate… Yay!

You can save money because of your roommate.

You can blow money because of your roommate.

You can have more fun because of your roommate!

You can be miserable because of your roommate.

You can even be abused by your roommate–emotionally and physically.

As a preface to the things I am about to say, I acknowledge that not everything I am communicating in this message is from my own experience, but these are things that come from my insight of a combination of my own and others’ experiences.

 

You’ve all probably heard, “Don’t live with your best friend,” or other things along that line, and that can often be true. But the real truth behind that is not that your best friend is lying to you…it’s that your best friend CAN be lying to you about who they are. A truer statement is, “You never know what someone is like until you live with them.”

Sometimes people have underlying issues in their lives that they hide very easily in public and even from their very best friends, but can’t cover up so well behind closed doors. These issues could be insecurities, buried feelings from the past, character flaws, physical or mental illnesses, or even just plain selfishness.

Unfortunately, people don’t really like to tell you about their problems (their REAL problems) at all, and especially before living with you if they’re really wanting a roommate. So things like… being “Type A”/narcissistic, having clinical depression, having regular hallucinations that aliens are abducting them and stealing their organs, exerting schizophrenic behavior, whispering to their grandma… who is dead, having bipolar disorder, having bouts of hysteria, etc.–these are the kinds of things people probably don’t even want to admit to/face for themselves, much less tell you about. So, if you wind up living with someone who has serious issues, you won’t know it until you see it and have to deal with it directly, possibly while traumatized.

So, you could end up rooming with someone who regularly makes you paranoid that they have slashed their wrists and are soaking to death in the bathtub while cursing at the aliens. But ideally, your roommate will be a stable person like you and only carry minor annoyances, like not washing the dishes as often as you or forgetting to carry out the trash. Perhaps it could help to get to know people who are friends with that person before living with them to get an idea of what others know about them, but all you can really do is just pray for the best situation.

You may be in college or in your early career stage. You might be learning a lot about chemistry, physics, computers, and writing papers. You might be learning the ropes of business management, social networking, developing a regular routine again, handling new bills. You might also learn some things about growing up, being an adult, entering the “real world.” Along with that kind of learning, you might gain some supplemental insight that everyone doesn’t traverse that path the same way and at the same time, or even with anyone at all. Everyone is different, everyone grows up differently, everyone doesn’t grow up at the same time. Sometimes, people don’t grow up at all. Sometimes, you are faster at it than others. Sometimes they are faster than you. You just have to figure out how to deal with those who “just ain’t got it” yet.

Above all, in your journey through young adulthood, you should be learning a lot about yourself. Even in times of crises, you can discover some of the most important things about yourself… how much time you need to study for that stupid biology test, HOW to even study for that stupid biology test, what to wear on a rainy day in Auburn, Alabama, what keeps you awake (legally) for more than 24 hours, what keeps you going when you’re having a bad day, what kinds of friends you want, what kinds of behavior you will tolerate people dishing at you.

You are now in charge of yourself, which can be an achievement or an obstacle in your path of growing up, depending on your background and maturity level. Having a roommate is just another contribution to your pile of experiences (lessons) to learn from.

Now, I’m no married woman, but I’m pretty sure that being married and being someone’s roommate are TOTALLY different things (thank goodness). It seems that probably the main difference between living with someone and living with someone you are married to is that when you are married to someone, you share the same life–you are still two different people, but you live together in a more complete sense. A roommate is someone you share a dwelling place with–someone you may or may not have a personal connection to. They have their life, and you have yours. They have their schedules, and you have yours. They have their friends, and you have yours. They have their food, and you have yours. They have their clothes, and you have yours. They have their money, and you have yours. They have their methods of doing things around the house, and you have yours. They have their….okay, you get it. But a lot of people don’t get that. (Those are the people who shouldn’t live with anyone… But they usually do.)

So, what I’m trying to say is, I hope your roommate experiences have been/are/will be great, even if they are not particularly pleasant. If you end up with the most miserable person–someone who legitimately loathes your existence, someone who insists on being angry about everything they can conjure up to be angry about, someone who wants to manipulate you for any reason, someone who refuses to work out problems unless it allows them to scream at you or feel superior to you, someone who pretends to be your friend and then stonewalls you at the first sign of a disagreement, etc.–don’t despair (easier said than done). Ride out things as much as you can, but learn yourself. Know your boundaries, and respect them. Others–the people who truly care about you and respect you–will follow suit. If your roommate is not one of those people who can respect you and your boundaries, get out if and when you can. Get out of that living situation, and get out of whatever relationship you have with that person because it is simply destructive and unhealthy. Even if you feel like a jerk initially, you won’t regret making that decision.

In a nutshell, those are my tips on establishing relationships in general, but it is especially useful for determining what you want/need in a living situation because living with someone can have a huge impact on your emotional and physical well-being, perhaps even more so than your closest friendships.

Extra Important Tip: If you are concerned about a situation to the point that you worry a person may physically harm you, and if you are taking physical precautions around that person (whether it is a male or female) you need to sever that relationship immediately. A person is not your friend if he or she gives you a reason to feel unsafe around them, emotionally or physically. Get out. And maybe even get help.

“Manner Book: The Big Brown Bear”(?)… Complete with unintentionally creepy illustrations

Tonight I came home to my parents’ house just in time for a bed time story…

a story I wrote when I was about eight or nine years old.

[Entering serious thinking mode for a moment]…

I apparently wrote this and had given it to my grandmother. She passed away when I was fifteen, and after seven years, our family has now decided to sell her place. So, we have been cleaning out her house and gathering back the many little things we had given to her over the years. The following story, along with another story and a collection of poetry I had written at that same age, was found in her quilting patterns… My grandmother’s most well-known gift and hobby was quilting. Sure, she was a “pack rat,” but she knew where everything was because she put everything where it was for a reason. Even as a grown up, professional writer now, I can’t even begin to describe the significance of knowing that my gifts to my grandmother were that special to her.

…[Exiting serious thinking mode]

I vaguely remember drawing the super creepy bear on the cover, but I don’t remember anything else about this. I did a bunch of Google searches to see if this was just my copying an existing children’s story, maybe with my own twist to it, but no…nothing quite like this out there. I was just one super weird kid with a big imagination. Enjoy!

Cover Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6The end. :)

Jelly Bellies and Mom Genes

I like most people. I can be around some more than others, but I generally get along with everyone, and I typically prefer for my life to proceed in that way.

However, there is one type of person—a type of female—that I have avoided like poison…since I was old enough to think.

This particular type of female has emerged in various unpleasant forms repeatedly throughout every single stage of my life. So, because all of their behavior started in early childhood, I will hereby refer to these females as…

“Baby Hoggers.”

You know those little girls who practically have someone’s baby in their arms the second they set eyes on the child? The girls all the moms call “sweet,” “caring,” and “motherly,” while you stand by, quietly and politely waiting your turn to hold the baby…if you are asked…because you know that sometimes asking questions is rude, and that’s not your baby anyway?

Those girls who don’t understand the concept of sharing very well and aren’t capable of making real friends because they’re too busy concentrating on what they want for themselves?

They will also likely take over the world one day…which will not be awesome. It will be terrifying. Because they will not actually know what they are doing.

Yep.

Yep.

Those girls are Baby Hoggers.

Things don’t really change as you grow up together either…

They just shift a little bit.

boy hogger

At some point they separate into two types:

Type 1—The one who hates you and bullies you until one of you dies.

Type 2—The one who suddenly and seemingly miraculously decides she LOVES you and wants to be your best friend ever until the day one of you dies.

They are still the same people. If I were to draw a Venn diagram out of them for you, this is what it would like:

Baby Hogger Venn Diagram

And just when you think adulthood has whipped some sense into these girls…

Scenario: Your “friend” discourages you from pursuing your awesome life goals because “you’re not cut out for that” or “that’s a terrible idea.”

Reality: no, she is not your friend, and she discourages you because she is jealous of you and is just looking out for #1. She wants all that awesomeness in life for herself, and unlike her, you actually have a brain that comes up with ideas. If she steals your ideas, she will take credit for them, expect you to worship her for it, and will not share anything in return…because she is a HOGGER.

Scenario: When you start a family, that “kind lady” begins to offer “suggestions” for how to raise your child—particularly at times when you are not asking for anyone’s advice.

Reality: She either wants everyone to think she is the best mother on the planet, or is a Supermom wannabe who is judging you so hard because… she is so jealous of you. She wants what you’ve got and doesn’t want you to have it at all. And, if she can get away with it, she will put you down as a mom to feel good about herself as a… not-mom. Fortunately for you, it seems to be socially unacceptable to tell other people how to raise their kids, so if you let her know who’s boss in your family matters real quick, you shouldn’t have too much trouble later…we hope, anyway.

In the end, what it all comes down to is this:

Baby hoggers want to suck all of the joy out of your soul, and they will do so in any way that comes easiest to them. Why? Because they want to hog your happiness. And why do they insist on not sharing? Because it’s actually not about being happy at all. It’s not about babies, boys, or even just being awesome. It’s simply about making everyone around them THINK they are awesome, can get all the boys, are the best babysitter/mom ever, and all other things that display an aura of success and coolness in life.

They will totally rock at making you think you are best friends forever… until they don’t get what they want from you. Then, they will immediately begin to bully you incessantly until they get what they want from you.

Here just a few ways you can expect them to attempt this:

  • They are easily irritated with everything, complain about everything, and have an opinion (usually a negative one) about everything you say or do.
  • They will insert just enough kind words to smooth over their negativity so that you’ll stay in their game.
  • They will try to tell you how you feel and try to convince you that you think certain things–things that actually never crossed your mind a fraction until they mentioned them.
  • They may suddenly give you the silent treatment as a punishment for something.
  • They may never actually end a silent treatment.
  • They hijack your friends and turn them against you. (This is an ultimate win for them.)
  • If you even barely resist them in any way, they will vehemently resist you, and you can certainly expect a threat or two when that happens.
  • They flawlessly suck up to everyone when their reputation/popularity is on the line.

If none of these (or other) methods succeed in manipulating you into getting them what they want, they will simply give up and abruptly leave your life or resent you and harbor bitterness toward you that builds every time they have to see your face.

That being said, girls….are nuts.

Choose your girl friends wisely.